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Deadly Legacy: Cluster Bombs


By jimstaro - Posted on 12 January 2011

Deadly legacy of US cluster bombs in Loas

 

January 11, 2011 - ELIZABETH JACKSON: It was called America's Secret War.

From 1964 and 1973, the US dropped 260 million cluster submunitions on Laos in a covert mission to destroy North Vietnamese supply lines.

Not only did the mission fail ... it left a deadly legacy; 80 million unexploded bombs scattered across the Laos countryside.

The bombs have killed or maimed more than 20,000 people since the war ended and they're a major obstacle to economic development in one of Asia's poorest nations.

This year, Australia signed a new international treaty banning the use of cluster bombs.

A Senate committee is currently considering a bill to ratify the treaty but critics say the bill doesn't go far enough to help end the scourge of cluster munitions.

The ABC's Joanna McCarthy visited Laos and filed this report. {continued-transcript}

 

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